O’Brien calls on Labor to reveal planned roads spend

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has again highlighted in Parliament the need for more funding for key roads in Gippsland South to ensure locals can safely travel to and from work, school and home.

Mr O’Brien asked Roads Minister Luke Donnellan to outline the works proposed for the South Gippsland, Strzelecki and Hyland highways over the next four years.

“A significant additional investment in the roads budget of $130 million by the Coalition in last year’s budget has delivered dividends, but there is much more work to be done,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I believe there is a case for additional roads funding in South Gippsland in particular due to the higher rainfall, hilly topography and high number of milk tankers, stock transports and logging trucks on our roads – all of which place more pressure on the road surface than in some other parts of the state.

“In addition, a return to wetter seasons over the past four years since the end of the Millennium drought has caused havoc on our local roads and Melbourne Labor now needs to follow the Coalition’s lead and inject funding into our roads in South Gippsland.”

Mr O’Brien said since November 2010 when the Coalition was elected to government, more than $91 million had been spent on road maintenance and improvements Gippsland South.

“I travel the roads every day and I listen to my constituents who consistently tell me the roads are their biggest concern.  While poor roads are a handbrake on our local economy, it is also a significant safety concern.

“The Nationals know that the key to saving country lives is fixing country roads,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Melbourne Labor Government needs to understand that paying more than $640 million to NOT build a road in Melbourne is no benefit whatsoever for those travelling daily on the roads between Nyora and Sale, and Mirboo North to Sandy Point or any other state road  in South Gippsland.

“If Labor was serious about fixing our roads, it would be investing in regional roads instead of cutting the roads maintenance budget by 10 per cent and ripping funding from programs such as the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program that it scrapped in Tuesday’s State Budget,” Mr O’Brien said.

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